Because of 3 days of torrential spring rain in Fredericksburg, Virginia and surrounding areas, the Rappahannock River began to rise and spill over its banks. Undoubtedly, those who own houses and businesses nearest to the river were watching anxiously as the water crept higher and higher.
When I went down to see the river on May 1st, it had crested at 22 feet (the flood stage at Fredericksburg City Dock is 13 feet). Even though it was early morning, a few people were already there taking pictures of the flood.
Almost unbelievable! Back in January, 2013—I posted some photos of the City Dock in my story “Snow Cold Feet,” but today I did not recognize the area at all. I know that somewhere in this general vicinity beneath the muddy water, there is still a road, a parking lot, and a dock. Where all these things are located now, I’m not sure. The landscape looks totally different.
A policeman (standing guard over the area) said that several “adventurous” people had come with intentions of canoeing on the fast-moving river. In no uncertain terms, they were told to go home. It would be incredibly foolish to take a canoe out on a raging river with floating hazards such as trees, logs, branches, and who knows what else unseen below.
It’s true. Many of us dream of owning waterfront property, even though houses built close to water are subject to flooding. We know that Mother Nature can reclaim whatever she wants, whenever she wants; but we still take the chance, build, and optimistically hope for the best. Why? Because it is so relaxing to look out of a window and see another beautiful day reflected on water.
Think twice! Odds are, next to an unpredictable river, a quiet waterfront home will eventually become a muddy water-inside home. Looking at the photos below, I would say that this is the epitome of stress!
Luckily—there is no more rain predicted for today, and the weekend is supposed to be sunny and clear. Soon the Rappahannock river will begin to recede, so houses and trees that do not belong in the water will be able to stand on solid ground once again.
On a lighter note, when I was walking back to my car around lunchtime, I noticed that a restaurant owner had placed a sign out on the sidewalk with a very creative and appropriate message. Gotta love the human spirit with a great sense of humor! The words immediately made me smile. The sign said: